Thankful Thursday’s Book

Today we are joining Brian’s Thankful Thursday, with special thanks to Brian for hosting it!

Xena: Mommy asked to be able to use our blog today. We voted, and Chia and I agreed with two paws up to let her. Riley and Lucy just walked away. I don’t know why they don’t like voting. They should be glad we live in a democracy, where things can be decided by voting, don’t you think? Oh, yes, today is your turn, Mommy, so take it away!

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while already know I rarely, if ever, review a book-even though I am an avid reader! Where the Echo Calls by Steve N. Lee was offered to me free for an honest review, so here goes.

I loved it! I actually read it in two sittings, which is quite unusual for me. Razor was raised by a horrid man to be a fighting dog, then dumped when he lost a fight against two dogs. Like my blog, the book is written from the dog’s perspective, and in his voice. I smiled and laughed and cried. It was hard to put this book down, and when I did I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Razor’s life was hard, but he never gave up hope – at least not for long. Then he found a man who was willing to try to understand and respect him. But don’t think it was easy sailing from then on!

Where the Echo Calls made me think about why a dog would behave a certain way. You’d think I would know this by now, but this was a much deeper understanding… an understanding from the dog’s perspective instead of from the human’s. This has caused me to question why my dogs do or don’t do something. For instance, Xena normally listens to me extremely well, which is why I can let her loose in the yard to explore while I do yard work. We were outside on a sunny day, her investigating smells and wandering around while I moved brush. Finished, I opened the door and called her to come in with me, but she just stood in the drive staring at me. I tried several times, but she didn’t budge. Instead of “insisting,” I walked over to her, making sure I was not doing it in a threatening, or even bossy way. I scratched her under her chin while softly asking if she wanted to come in the house with me. She headed right to the door, precious little tail wagging! We had no interaction outside while I worked, and I believe she just wanted acknowledged!

It’s been a good day. Mommy showed me she knows I’m special by trying to understand me!

I don’t mean to say I totally understand everything any of these pups do now. But I think I can begin to question their behaviors and try to understand their needs.

If you would like your own copy of Where the Echo Calls, you can buy it on Amazon by clicking here if you live in the US, or here if you live in the UK, or here if you live in Canada. You can also get it from Barnes & Noble and Google Play.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to my own pups for giving up their blog for the day!
Amy

Loyal

I bet you thought I was talking about my dog. Well of course you did. My dog, your dog, all our dogs. Loyal is a defining word for our 4-legged, tail-wagging companions. It is also the name of a touching new book just out by author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh. I was pretty amazed as well as excited when  TLC Tours sent me a hot-off-the-press copy of Loyal in exchange for an honest review. No strings attached. So, here goes.

I love it. Yep. I mean, who wouldn’t love real life stories about dogs — just like many of ours — who have risen from unwanted shelter pups to heros in their own right? OK, so no one pulled a child from a burning building. What I’m talking about here is on-going, every day heroism. Not just the kind that we all need in our lives at least a little: the head in our laps when we are down, staying close when we are sick, the unconditional love. I’m talking about the kind that enables someone to continue on with life when all seemed lost. Who are these featured heroes?

There is Wyatt the Ridgeback, who detected a melanoma the doctors had missed in his soon-to-be Mom, saving her life.

There is Diamond the Lab Mix, who enabled an Afghanistan war veteran suffering from a disabling case of PTSD to resume a normal life.

There is Duke the Border Collie, who works as a team with his wheelchair-bound person to gather cattle on the pasture faster than the mounted cowboys.

In Loyal you will also read about Drago the Spinone Italiano, Zoey and Andy the Golden Retrievers, Scout the German Wirehaired Pointer, Glory the Bloodhound, Lyric the Beagle and many more.

Lucy wants to be sure I mention Roxy the Pit Bull. She said she wants to grow up to be just like Roxy: a glowing example representing her breed. She also wants me to give honorable mention to Niko the Pit Bull-Corgi Mix. He’s all hugs and licks, just like her. Oh, and he performs his magic in prisons.

Atlas the French Mastiff is Riley’s favorite since the Ri Boy also has some Dogue de Bordeaux in him. Atlas also shares Riley’s passion for children and acts as a champion for disabled children in rehab wards.

Angel Lexi wants you to know that her book is better because it is all about her. (She was never very good at sharing the spotlight.) Even so, she thinks maybe you will like this one too. After all, many of them are therapy dogs of one kind or another, just like Lexi was. Hmm, where was I? Oh yes.

Loyal is written as 38 short stories, all with beautiful color photographs.  I like that it lists facts about many of the dog breeds represented, such as origin, temperament, appearance and training tips. I also like that the hardcover is illustrated the same as the beautiful dust cover. That way, when your dog chews off the dust jacket, you still have the pretty picture on the front of the book! Come on, you know it’s true.

The rest of this post is the material the publisher gave me. You can click on links to read more about Loyal and author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, as well as to purchase it.  Happy reading!

About Loyal

• Hardcover: 160 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (March 7, 2017)

This special collection of dog stories and photographs features four-legged heroes who have worked side by side with soldiers, searched the wreckage of natural and man-made disasters, changed families’ lives through emotional support, and administered aid around the world and at home in the United States. Heartwarming photographs and touching anecdotes bring to life thirty-eight caring canines who have served the people who mean the most to them, from a German Shepherd who leads a blind man on his marathon training mission to a belly rub-loving Sheltie who supports at-risk youth in the classroom. For anyone who has experienced the extraordinary affection of a dog, Loyal is a lasting celebration of the joys of canine companionship.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a writer who specializes in celebrity and lifestyle coverage, but who also loves dogs and telling stories about amazing animals. She contributes to many newspapers and national magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Adweek, and the Los Angeles Times. She is a volunteer at a high-kill shelter in Manhattan and a founding director of the Deja Foundation, devoted to funding the medical care and training costs of dogs rescued from high-kill shelters.